Monday, April 14, 2008

09-25-2008 :: Enlightenment - Melbourne

Melbourne Call for Papers

Dear list members

Please note that the deadline for receiving abstracts for the following workshop has been extended till 31 March 2008.

Associate Professor Samer Akkach
Founding Director, Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture (CAMEA)
The University of Adelaide, SA 5005, AUSTRALIA

Islam and Enlightenment

A two-day workshop organised jointly by the Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture (CAMEA), The University of Adelaide, and the School of Historical Studies, The University of Melbourne.

University of Melbourne, 25-26 September 2008

Traditional scholarship mapped the Enlightenment as a uniquely European experience, but recent scholarship has revealed the eighteenth century as a period of axial change across the world. The relativisation of cultural systems, the unseating of religious certainty, the development of civic publics, and the rapid advance of technological innovation marked the leading European societies of this period. But these developments unfolded within, and were in many ways dependent upon a context of global trade and exchange. Expanding interest in non-European ideas, religions and techniques, the increase in mobility, and ultimately the colonization of societies outside Europe, brought ever greater contact. Nowhere was this more evident than in relation to the Muslim world which overlapped with Europe at its borders and in many areas into which Europeans were moving. The great empires of Islam dominated much of the world at the beginning of the century, and Europeans often built upon long-established Muslim trading networks.

What was the nature of the exchange between these two worlds in transformation? What did the Enlightenment mean to Muslims of the period, and what did Islam mean to the Enlightenment? This workshop will map out directions for developing this rich area of study. Possible topics might include (but are not limited to):

- Muslim travellers in Europe and European travellers in the Muslim world
- The role of intermediary groups and minorities
- Cultural, intellectual and technical borrowings
- Global trade and consumption
- Exchange in mixed and border societies
- Print culture and the public sphere
- The coffee house and secular urban culture
- Leisure gardens and the culture of urban recreation
- Postal systems and the culture of correspondence
- Gender issues in transforming urbanity
- Philosophical challenges and continuities
- Religious challenges and continuities
- Shared and parallel modernities

For further information or to submit your 250 word proposal and one-page CV, please contact:

Samer Akkach:
Ian Coller:


31 March 2008 Short abstract: 250-word abstract together with one-page CV
16 May 2008 Extended abstract (900-1000 word summary)
25 Sep. 2008 Full papers to be collected and reviewed for post-workshop publication


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